Crop breeding – Day 1, 09.30-10.40; Day 2 – 13.30pm – 14.40pm

Session chair: Russell McKenzie, Cambridgeshire farmer and AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds Board member

Winning ways with wheat lies in its genes – the Wheat Genetic Improvement Network is a rolling BBSRC project, funded by Defra. Its research on a range of traits is designed to reduce those all important unit costs of production while offering environmental benefits.

Yield would be more sustainable and profitability enhanced through improved crop resistance to pests and disease, drought resistance and nitrogen use efficiency.

Speaker: Kim Hammond-Kosack, research leader wheat pathogenomics and deputy head, Department of Biointeractions and Crop Protection, Rothamsted Research

Breeding resilience into oilseed rape – how research is helping plant breeders to take the risk out of growing winter oilseed rape by selecting traits to produce varieties which are resilient to pests, such as cabbage stem flea beetle, and weather variation.

Speaker: Steven Penfield, group leader Genes in the Environment, John Innes Centre

Variety selection in uncertain times – given the uncertainty surrounding future trading conditions created by Brexit and trade wars, it will pay dividends to consider the markets for your combinable crops.

Speaker: Cecilia Pryce, head of compliance, research and shipping, Openfield

Crop nutrition – Days 1 and 2, 11.30-12.40.

Session chair: Mark Tucker, business development and head of agronomy, Yara UK

Meeting productivity, sustainability and profitability targets – an overview of the GHG intensity of cropping and the importance of nitrogen fertiliser.

Speaker: Daniel Kindred, head of agronomics, ADAS

Evidence-based approach to crop nutrition – building on new evidence-based on grain benchmarking and the work of the Yield Enhancement Network, a new approach to nutrient application to minimise losses while maximising profitability.

Speaker: Natalie Wood, arable agronomist for UK and Ireland, Yara UK

Navigating the right course for quality water and profit – what is a realistic target for nitrogen use efficiency to realise optimum yield and profitability while minimising leaching?

Speaker: Keith Goulding, sustainable soils research fellow, Rothamsted Research

Crop protection – Day 1, 13.30-14.40pm; Day 2, 15.20pm-16.30pm

Session chair: Emma Hamer, senior plant health adviser, NFU

Managing with fewer pesticides – losses of valuable agrochemicals have had or will have a severe impact on disease control, resistance management and profitability across a range of arable crops.

Speaker: Fiona Burnett, head of Connect for Impact, Scotland’s Rural College Knowledge and Innovation Hub and chair of the Fungicide Resistance Group

Profiting from early disease detection – using drone and satellite technology could save costs, improve quality yield, boost profitability and strengthen environmental safeguards.

Speaker: Matt Kettlewell, agronomist, Hummingbird Technologies

Keeping up with herbicide dynamics – broad-leaved weed dynamics are shifting, with cultivation practices and timing, climate change, the loss of actives and herbicide resistance all contributing to the challenge.

Speaker: Sarah Cook, weed scientist and senior research consultant, ADAS, Boxworth

Crop establishment – Day 1, 15.20-16.30; Day 2, 9.30-10.40

Session chair: Will Gemmill, national head of farming and Eastern regional chairman, Strutt and Parker

Profiting from tough decisions – making every hectare count in the light of proposals to link any future support to improvements in soil health, air and water quality, alongside other measures to help reduce the impact of climate change.

Speaker: Andrew Pitts, Northants farmer and consultant

Rooting for profit with cover crops – these have an important role to play in maintaining healthy soils, any farm’s most important asset. A look at the latest findings and recommendations from Cranfield’s BBSRC-funded project.

Speaker: Sarah De Baets, lecturer plant-soil systems, Cranfield University

Crop establishment – being precise using variable seed rates, based on soil type and previous yield data, can improve crop yield and quality; optimise seed utilisation and boost profitability on every suitable hectare.

Speaker: Matt Ward, agronomist and services leader, Farmacy.